For those who may be unaware, Harrow has its very own community ice cream truck, but no ordinary truck by any means! this one is described as ‘crazy’- an ice cream business so different that we thought we’d share it with our readers. Introducing: Papa Gee’s Crazy Ice Cream Truck.
Featuring an incredible 17 different varieties of ice cream desserts, disco lights in the truck itself with a pumping sound system to boot, Papa Gee is not hard to miss and if you’re unfamiliar, hopefully, this introduction will be enough to at least find out a little more about one of Harrow’s most unique businesses.
Based in Stanmore, Papa Gee’s has been around for a few years now, you may have seen him at local events such as local festive light switch-ons or one of the numerous summer events across Harrow. We had a chance to speak to Mo Yousaf, the man behind Papa Gee’s, and dig a little deeper and find out more about this local business, and what makes it ‘crazy’ exactly.
Tell us a bit about Papa Gee, where did the name come from?
Papa Gee’s Crazy Ice Cream Truck is exactly that, a Crazy Ice Cream Truck with more sauces and more toppings possibly than any other Ice Cream Truck on the planet (currently being looked at by The Guinness Book of World Records). The name Papa Gee’s and the concept go hand in hand. The concept was to create an Ice Cream Truck that your dad would create if you asked him for that, Papa often means Dad in many cultures and languages, in some Asian cultures as a form of respect to elders you would say Papa Gee instead of Papa, the idea for our truck came from a conversation between 2 best friends after one of them had a poor experience at an ice cream van and when they questioned why no one had created a really fun and different type of ice cream van, and so they did, by buying a truck and creating Papa Gee’s Crazy Ice Cream Truck, serving 17 different types of Ice Creams and desserts including Freshly made Hot Bubble Waffles & Hot Cookie dough desserts with Ice Cream of course (which allow us to trade in the winter too) 38 different toppings, 21 dessert sauces, 4 different spreads and a revolutionary new “create your own” menu never seen before on an Ice Cream Truck!
How long have you been in business?
We have been trading for 3 and a half years now, started in May 2019 with our 1st truck and then in 2021 we bought a 2nd truck due to our success
You cover a lot of Harrow events, what’s been your favourite one so far?
Wow, that’s a very difficult question because there have been so many, not only that, our main business is based around doing private hire parties, Birthdays being our speciality as we have a Happy Birthday Chime and we often set it up with parents as a surprise, they are the best tbh, as the parents know when I’m a couple of streets away so they bring the birthday child and friends out to the front, next minute they hear the ice cream truck chimes in the distance which gets them all excited and often wishing that it comes to them, especially on hot days, and then next minute I turn into their road, switch the chimes to Happy Birthday and pull up right outside! The reactions I’ve seen, if only I had them captured on camera, they are the best! We then start the party by getting everyone to sing Happy Birthday with Papa Gee to the birthday child or adult.
We’ve actually done a birthday for a 92-year-old lady who hadn’t had a Flake99 for over 20 years. That lives long in the memory and was special as it was different, but the joy I have seen on the faces of so many children and their reactions, it’s impossible to pick one out, we’ve done so many over the last 3 years, we’ve even had some kids crying with happiness, just the best job in the world to do.
We also do lots of weddings and summer fairs, it’s allowed me to go to some amazing places like doing a party on the grounds of Windsor Castle, and one wedding where after I’d served desserts a helicopter turned up to whisk the bride & groom away, can’t forget that one but definitely my favourites are birthday parties, we do so many, and many of our clients have booked us 3 years in a row so it’s amazing to see the kids growing up, we’ve done lots of twins, they are always super fun to do as we have so much to joke about, but yeah, in answer to your question, too many to choose from.
You’ve managed to rack up quite a few fans on your socials, how important is social media to modern businesses?
Social media is massive in this day and age, it’s hard work but it’s a cheap and cost-effective way of connecting with potential customers and showing what you have to offer and the standards you have. We try to make ours informative as well as fun and try to showcase what we’re about. We’re very proud of our 5* food hygiene rating and the quality of our ice cream which people often say is the best they have ever tasted. Just check out our reviews on Trustpilot to see what people think. If you do things well, put your heart into it and lots of love, and make sure you give people a great experience I’m sure people will like it and slowly your following starts to grow
Tell us about your ice cream truck – it’s different to anything we’ve seen!
Much of it has been described above in terms of what we have and what we do, we are famous for our Hot Bubble waffles though, that must be said, they are the best many have tasted, that’s been said quite often. The other thing is we’ve created a really funky brand, we’re instantly recognisable, the name is memorable and we make sure the experience is too which means most of our advertisement comes from personal recommendations and word of mouth. We have the insides of our trucks decked out with lots of disco lights which helps create a real party atmosphere in an instant once we arrive.